searider design and modification
O.K., so the original topic of this post was going to be "Snatching defeat from the jaws of victotry", but since I know where this discusion is going to end up, I decided to make it easier.
I just finished converting a coast guard 5.4 SR into the ulimate Texas style Gulf Coast fishing machine, complete with center console, T-Top, lots of storage and fancy electronics.
Since I did not want to put screws or bolts into the deck, I used the 10mm anchors built into the hull and custom fabricated mounting brackets to attach everything. I initially found some water seeping out of around these anchors, but when I tapped all over the hull and deck with a mallet, it seemed solid and only had a small soft spot in the bow area of the deck, which I planned to replace next winter.
Now for the fun part. About 15 minutes after I got on the highway, and to the great suprise of the cars travelling behind me, my console and attached T-top decided that flying would be preferable to driving. The whole unit ripped out the anchors from the deck and was dragged behind the boat at 65 mph down the highway.
Here is where the design topic begins: The console and top sustained amazingly little damage. After cutting some exploratory holes in the deck, I found rotten plywood around all of the anchors, and the foam flotation chamber in the bow was completely saturated with water. But the rot only reached a few inches past the edges of the built in anchors.
I am going to have to replace 2 areas about 2 ft x 2 ft. The problem is the flodding hull and the reinfoced deck needed to support the lateral and upwards force of the T-top. The deck design is about 1/8th inch fiberglass on bottom, with 1/2" plywood in middle, and a thin topcoat of glass mat and gelcoat on top.
If I keep the flooding hull, I will need to make sure the bottom of my patches are completely glassed, which will be very difficult to do well. And if I keep the shade, I will need to add addittional support which would make it even more difficult to seal from the inside. I am leaning towards blocking off the flooding holes and building up the deck with an aluminum backing plate to support the console and top, but I have some design questions.
Will the combination of wind acting on the shade, and the lack of ballast make for too much pitch and roll while at rest? Could I glass a 4" PVC pipe into the bottom of the hull and flush with the exit bung at the back of the transom to create a smaller ballast chamber that would still flood and empty on its own (about 75 lbs flooded weight)?
Also with the ballast holes glassed over, it would free up some room inder the deck for inspection and storage hatches.